A COVENTRY crime lord, who was a key architect of prolific Black Country criminal John Anslow, has been ordered to pay back more than £1million of dirty money.
Stuart Reid sent Anslow a coded message letting him know about the break out and was subsequently jailed for six years for his involvement in the plot.
Well known for running nightclubs in the city from the 80s until the 90s, Reid is also serving an additional 16 years behind bars for heading up a drugs supply gang and a £127,000 fraud.
But when the criminal cases against him concluded in 2014, officers from the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit set about freezing the 54-year-old’s assests.
Among his belongings were designer clothes, cars, a Rolex watch and several properties worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Knowing that the majority of his earnings were made from crime, detectives used legislation under the Proceeds of Crime Act to try and recoup his cash.
Reid was told to pay back £1,319,427.43 at Leicester Crown Court today after being handed a confiscation order.
Judge Brown QC told Reid if he does not pay back the money in the next three months he will face an extra nine years behind bars on top his current 20 year sentence.
Inspector Jonathon Jones, from the Regional Asset Recover Team (RART), said: “Throughout the course of three trials, Stuart Reid was exposed as one of the Midlands’ biggest criminals.
“He masqueraded as a legitimate businessman when his real venture was masterminding a multi-million pounds drugs racket supplying heroin, cannabis and amphetamine across the country.
“Reid and his associates also came up with a fraud worth over a hundred thousand pounds which involved conning mobile phone companies out of cash.
“And his most audacious offence was helping bust John Anslow out of prison, sending him a coded message in a Christmas card which was a key part of the plot.
“This success should serve as a warning to others that crime really doesn’t pay. We will always pursue career criminals and take back their ill-gotten gains for the benefit of local people.”
Visit www.wmrocu.org.uk for further information on the Regional Organised Crime Unit.